This year has been quite the rollercoaster that’s for sure.  I learned a lot about myself and I didn’t like some of what I saw.  This set in motion a path of self-discovery/improvement.  Although I still have a long way to go on this journey, I’ve already learned some valuable things.  I wanted to start writing every day and I figured that talking about the things I’ve learned would be a great place to start.

1. Change is not linear

When I started out on this path to change I  had it in mind that things would get steadily better.  In some areas, I’ve made a lot of progress and in others not so much.  The changes are tiny and not as noticeable as I’d hoped but they’ve all added up to things getting better.  I’ve had some pretty bad funks where I fall back into old patterns too.  But every time I catch myself sooner and all the baby steps I’ve made make it easier to deal with.

2. Negative feelings are ok

I used to be a really negative and pessimistic person.  I still have my times that I fall back into it.  So much of how we get by is based on how we see the world.  Positivity is important, but I found myself suffering from positivity burnout.  I was trying so hard to stay positive all the time that I forgot to actually feel and acknowledge some of the shitty things that happened.  They’d pile up and I’d crash out.  Negative feelings are our body’s way of telling us you’re unhappy with a situation.  It’s ok to take the time to feel sad about whatever it is that happened.

3. People are very self-centered

I don’t mean this in a negative way.  I mean it in the sense that everyone takes things personally.  In going to school I noticed how often I interpreted someone’s actions or expressions to have something to do with me.  99% of the time it had more to do with something going on in their life.  Many people over the year made similar interpretations of my mood, which was more based on struggles at home.  People are more concerned about the scope of their own lives and don’t have the full story of ours.  This makes it almost impossible for us to correctly interpret what is being brought to the table in any given interaction.  More often than not the things I was taking personally weren’t personal at all.

4. Sometimes people don’t want your help

I just want to help people, to the point of my own detriment sometimes.  I always used to volunteer my help or advice whether or not it was asked for.  Then someone pointed out that they didn’t want my help or ask for  it and I had just made things worse. Just because we know what we need in a particular situation doesn’t mean it will be helpful to everyone.  I used to offer up advice whenever someone came to me with their problems.  Then I realized that some of what I was saying wasn’t having the intended impact.  Sometimes people are just telling you what’s up and they’ve already got it covered.  If people want my advice, they’ll ask for it.

5. Confidence is everything

At first, this was going to be attitude is everything but I think having confidence will take great steps towards having the right attitude.  If you don’t believe in yourself you’re giving other people permission not to.  If you don’t think you can do it, you’re more likely to fail.  Being confident in yourself can help to produce a more positive outlook when things get overwhelming.  I let my fear and lack of confidence run the show for so long.  It was only when  I took back control that things started to get better.  Every time I succeed outside my comfort zone it boosts up my confidence that much more.

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